More Mischief Wherever We Go

Season 5 begins of five months or five years - October 30th, 2015

Finally an update

10 April 2016


April 9th, 2016

This is a special update for Maxwell. After more then one request, I am have finally done it.

We spent the better part of five weeks in the USVI''s between Charlotte Amalie, Honeymoon Bay and Brewers Bay. While in Charlotte Amalie we had the repair done to the mainsail which ended up not being that big a deal. We connected with one of the local sail repair places thanks to Dick on Cheetah II. He also hooked us up with a guy that sells anchor chain. After almost five years, the chain was in need of replacing. That was my Christmas present from Michael. Being in the USVI's is special to us as there are so many cruisers there that we had met over the seasons and it was really nice to see them again. After many happy hours with Morgan from Nirvana, trips around the island and happy hours at Room With a View it was time to get going again. The day before we planned to leave, Michael and Jane went lobstering in Elephant Bay which is where they are moored. As luck would have it, they were successful and snagged two lobsters...one of which they released and the other was to become a dinner. Jane steamed it for us and we took back. We would be having a lobster dinner in the next few days.

As it turns out Chris and Fran from Changes were again heading in the same direction as us yet again. They were in St. John and we met up with them at Watermelon Cay. We spent two days there and had a great sail up the tacking through the Sir Francis Drake Channel. The last two hours of the trip up to Virgin Gorda was a motor as we needed to get anchored behind the reef before sunset. At 3:30am we raised the main sail and hauled anchor.....next stop St. Maarten. What a great trip and arrived in Simpson Bay nose to nose with Changes.

So what do you do in St Maarten for five weeks while waiting for guests to arrive and a very special 70th birthday party. No problem as there are two marine stores, great grocery stores and many other things going on to entertain cruisers. We attended a beach party with Chris and Fran and had a great time there and met a bunch of people we had never met before. Tony and Liza from Inspiration had also just arrived. It's his birthday that we were going to celebrate later in the week. As this was the first time we had anchored on the Dutch side of St. Maarten we did not make as many trips to Shirmpy's but the time we spent with them was fun. Silly Sunday's are always fun with Mike. No holding back when he is involved.....too much food and laughter. Being anchored on the Dutch side allowed us easy access to many of the 5:00 o'clock bridges openings at the Yacht Club. It's a very popular place to watch the very large mega yachts inch their way through the narrow channel. We also had a great view right from our boat to watch the bridge openings during the day. At the beginning of this season it was Michaels mission to replace the ceiling panels in the main cabin. Check that box....it's now done and looks great. Nice white ceilings again. I made eye brows for the opening ports on the boat. Thanks to Cheryl on Gypsy Blues who has the same boat as us. She came up with a great pattern which I copied and now when it rains we do not have to close the ports anymore. We also made covers for coach roof hatches. It has helped to keep the boat a little colder inside and they also protect the plexiglass from the sun. So on now it was time to get the boat ready for our guests Tina and Steve to arrive and go sailing again. They flew in from Costa Rica on a one way flight as we did not know how far we were going to sail.

Day two of updating the blog.....Maxwell!

With the boat loaded up with food, wine and beer we were ready to head out again. The barnacles were all over the bottom of the boat and at some point they would need to be removed, but first we needed to get out of the lagoon and on our way. Once we were checked out and we timed the opening of the bridge we were on our way again. This time we would go as far south as the wind would allow us. We sailed overnight and got a far as Montserrat (about 100 nautical miles) before the wind died. At this point the decision was made to head for the Iles Des Saintes (50 miles further) which is a small group of French islands at the bottom of Guadeloupe. This was the first time we stopped here. We hiked up to Fort Napoleon an amazing restored historic site. At this point Steve and Tina were trying to figure out how to get back to Costa Rica. By the time they had it all figured out, it involved a fast ferry back to Guadeloupe mainland, the a taxi to a Airbnb. Next they would fly to Dominica and then to St Maarten and next to Costa Rica. I may have missed something but it was going to be a long two days for them. We had a great time with them as always.

Next stop would be Dominica. After dropping Steve and Tina at the ferry dock, we departed for Portsmouth. It's only 20 miles from Iles Des Saintes.....so with a double reef and full jib we headed out and arrived in the early afternoon. This is the first island where you there are boat boys, but in this case they are now boat men as they have made a career out of helping cruisers. They are all very pleasant to deal with unlike in some other islands where they are rude and very aggressive. They offer to take to the customs dock, take your garbage to shore and even bring fruits and veggies out. Of course there is a price but it's all very reasonable. On Sunday evenings they hoist a beach Bbq and cook a meal and provide refreshments. It's great gathering place and you always meet cruisers that you may not have seen in awhile. After a few days here, we headed for Roseau which is the capital of Dominica. Here you need to be on a mooring as the water very deep close to shore. There are only a few spots that you can anchor. We took an mooring which we gladly paid for even though we were not sure how well is would hold up. We actually put the anchor alarm on here....wouldn't want to wake up and find out that we had broke free and were drifting out in the open water. The last time we were here, three boats broke free in one night.....yikes! We spent two days here and then headed out again. Next stop Saint Pierre, Martinique.

It was a lovely sail through the pass between Dominica and Martinique. We were now in the Windward Islands. We spent one night Saint Pierre and then sailed around to Sainte Anne which is a very popular area for cruisers. The anchorage can be a bit roller, but you always have the option of heading into Le Marin which is really well protected. So, now we are back in the land of cheap wine and French baguettes. After the better part of two weeks here touring around and visiting with friends that we had not seen in a few years, it was again time to start heading north again. This was a far south as we planned on going this season.

We checked out of the country and were now on our way back towards Antigua which is where we plan on hauling the boat again this year. First stop was Saint Pierre where would spend the night and get up early sail across the pass towards Portsmouth at the top of Dominica. Winds were a little higher then forecasted but not uncomfortable. Once you are accustomed to sailing down here so long as you are reefed you get used to the high winds and big seas between the islands. A rainy forecast kept us in Portsmouth for a few days longer then we planned. Sometimes you just have to make the decision to go even if it's still raining which was not going to stop anytime soon. We hauled anchor at 6:20am and of course it was raining heading for Jolly Harbor, Antigua. When we left we decided if the conditions were good we would go all the way. It's a 98 nautical mile trip. This certainly has been the season of quick sailing....another record broken for us. By 8:30 we were anchored in Jolly Harbor safe and sound, but tired and salty. We checked in first thing in the morning and connected with some cruisers that we had not seen in while. We have now moved over to Falmouth Harbor where we have volunteered to help out in the Classics Regatta. It's going to be a very busy week helping and participating in all the other festivities that are happening.

OK MAXWELL AND ANYONE ELSE INTERESTED.....THATS IT FOR NOW.

Comments
Vessel Name: More Mischief
Vessel Make/Model: Jeanneau Sunkiss 47
Hailing Port: EYC Toronto, Ontario
Crew: Michael Hall and Hilda Allward
About: The trip of the life time begins. I wonder if it will kill us...5 months or five years. Our 47 foot Jeanneau is to be our home for the next 5 years. At this stage is would be interesting to know what it would be like to spend 24/7 together.
Extra: Year three is about to start. We are heading back to Antigua to launch the boat and plan on cruising back up to St. Marten and then over to the Virgin Islands for the season.
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Who: Michael Hall and Hilda Allward
Port: EYC Toronto, Ontario